Want a completely new kind of mixed fruit juice? Kompot is a Balkan food recipe made by simmering fruits in a lot of water & a little sugar. Sip on this cherry apricot juice variation with a dose of fruit at the bottom of your glass.
This Cherry Apricot Bulgarian Kompot is my first Bulgarian recipe on Cultureatz, very exciting, but kompot recipes are common in most of the Balkan food, Central and Eastern European countries, as well as Central Asia. And no, it has nothing to do with apple compote (a.k.a applesauce). In fact, kompot (or compote drink) is something you drink! It is a sweet beverage that can be served hot or cold.
Balkan cuisine: how to make mix fruit juice the Bulgarian way
To make Compote juice simply simmer your choice of fruit in a lot of water and some sugar, perhaps with a dash of vanilla or cinnamon too. Try it with any berry, cherries, apricots, peaches, apples or rhubarb. I really like how these parts of the world prepare fruit like for example the Hungarian sour cherry soup I once prepared.
Oh, and if you have a heavy hand with the sugar, you can ‘can’ your kompot. It is a great way of preserving summer fruits for the long winter months!
I have to admit, I do not know very much about Bulgaria. But that is part of the fun of exploring recipes from a new country. Your start reading up a bit online and the next thing you know, there is a new destination added to your travel bucket list. Turns out Bulgaria has much to offer a visitor and all year round with seasonal activities.
Life from Scratch
I am writing this post after having read Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin, which was the April/May pick for the Cook the Books Club. It is hosted by a blogger I love to follow, Debra over at Eliot’s Eats. I read the topic of the book really fast. I knew it was written by a food blogger who challenged herself to cook a country a week until she made a recipe from ever place in the world.
Hello! Can this book not be any more for me! I am all about writing about foods from around the world. I was very excited.
And I did know ahead of time that there was an emotional component. The writing process of the author took her down a very emotional path resulting from her less the typical family nucleus upbringing. But honestly, the book was way more about her therapeutic process than about recipes from around the world. As a matter of fact, only 13% of the book is really dedicated to her world cooking blog project. So I was disappointed and I came close to dropping the book.
That is not to say that the book is bad, not at all, it is just not the type of book I would normally read. I read normally historical fiction, lighter food memoirs, the occasional bestseller, or super sarcastic stuff like David Sedaris or Jenny Lawson. If you like very ‘I have survived my traumatic childhood’ emotional books then you will love Life from Scratch. I feel like I am making myself seem like a cold fish here but I am not, I am just not a fan of it in my entertainment.
Balkan food: Summer Time Delight with Kompot
I am an occasional participant in this club, so feel free to join also when you want. Next up for June/July, I am participating again and we are reading Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. I already read it: historical, political, rough at times, so much food – LOVED IT.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, one book at a time, here is the Balkan food Kompot recipe. This is a super refreshing drink and great for the coming summer. A glass of kompot, with a dose of the fruits in your glass, can totally serve as a light dessert.
You can basically use any seasonal fruit as well so mix it up. Just keep the weight ratio about the same. I first made this recipe with 3/4 cup sugar and it was very sweet. So next time I cut it down to 1/2 cup sugar.
If the kompot color is not colorful enough, you can cheat by adding a drop or two of food coloring – just for looks. It will be our secret 😉
Cherry Apricot Bulgarian Kompot
- 8 cup cold water
- 12 oz whole cherries just the stems removed
- 4 oz dried apricots
- 1/2 c sugar or more
- optional drops of pink/red/fushia food color
- Put the water, cherries, apricot and sugar in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat on the stove top.
- When you have an active boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the cherries have split and the color of the kompot has a ruby hue.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Leave to cool in the pot.
- Poor in glasses, kompot warm or chilled, and make sure to have a few pieces of fruit in each serving. Keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days, or longer but it may ferment and get a touch fizzy and boozy.
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